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Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by Robert.Boston, Oct 10, 2012.
$3 million for 6 taxis? At $500k each, they should be Bentleys.
Based on the quote it is talking about 2 "charging" stations and Better Place is mentioned. Makes me think this must be funding 2 battery swap locations along with 6 taxis. Still seems like a lot of money.
Agreed, this sounds like greenwashing. If they were serious they'd buy about 30 model X's and several Superchargers. I suspect Tesla would give them a good price.
Battery swap would make more sense. Wonder what the range is on those taxis, though. SFO is still a ways from the city.
Apparently Better Place is going to use the Coda for their Bay Area taxi service. My first impression is that this is because no other manufacturer was willing to work with Better Place.
Better Place, Coda an unexpected partnership for airport taxi battery swaps - AutoBlog Green
I tried to leave the following comment at ABG, but their system doesn't seem to be working right. I post it here instead:
If the goal is specifically to demonstrate battery swaps for EV taxis (as opposed to simply the taxis) I'd still prefer Tesla got such a grant to demonstrate one of their early promises with the Model S which they have since walked back from. (How cool would it be to see the Model S get a battery swap with a Better Place level of automation? :smile
Conventional transportation technologies and strategies pollute the air, degrade health, and
export money from the local economy among other things. Therefore, in order for California to
achieve its air quality, greenhouse gas emissions reductions, petroleum reduction and economic
goals, the State needs to look at new and alternative forms of transportation including electric
The Bay Area Air Quality Management District (Air District) believes that Better Place’s business
model, technology and business practices may represent an economically viable solution to
these problems. Their technology is currently being deployed in other regions around the globe
(Denmark and Israel most notably) and is showing excellent promise as a solution to reducing
emissions from transportation.
The proposed Bay Area eTaxi program will demonstrate a solution to address the region’s
long‐standing need to reduce criteria and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation;
a sector that accounts for nearly 40% of the region’s total GHG emissions. The program
demonstrates a strategy for mass market electrification of light duty vehicles powered by
renewable and clean California electricity that would allow the State to continue its leadership as
“the electric vehicle (EV) capitol of the United States.”
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE AGREEMENT
Goals of Resulting Agreement
The e-Taxi Program is designed to achieve 3 goals in building a scalable, replicable and costeffective
GHG emissions reduction strategy for the Bay Area:
1. Create the first North American eTaxi Corridor, providing unlimited range for participating
vehicles in less time than it takes to fill a tank of gas
2. Operate a fully functional zero emission switchable battery EV taxi fleet
3. Raise awareness on EVs with a million consumers through the EV taxi experience over this
and future phases
Objectives of the Agreement
1. Demonstrate that the battery switchable vehicle (XBEV) taxis can serve customers at a rate
similar to that of the comparable hybrid taxi service within the corridor
2. Show the battery switch concept’s robustness by demonstrating a minimum "down time" for
the equipment that is on the order of that for the comparable internal combustion engine
(ICE)/hybrid taxi average
3. Demonstrate commercial-intent XBEVs without any range
So this CEC thing is perhaps the demonstration project that they promised back in 2010.
Better Place - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
So this $3M is on top of $7M previously spent, or is the $3M part of that $7M?
Originally supposed to be 61 taxis, but now only 6?
Better Places battery-swapping Coda taxis coming to California in 2014
Better Place To Bring Electric Taxi Service To California in 2013 - Forbes
That might finally get them into double digits on sales
Although this project has been stupid expensive, it's probably less stupid expensive than the high-speed rail link or hydrogen fueling! Although I don't think BP's approach makes sense for individual drivers in the US (as it complicates the simplicity of home charging), for fleet vehicles that are running 24/7, battery swapping does makes sense.
It is still unobvious to me that this scheme makes sense, although I agree that there are worse schemes (the bottom is a long way down).
Apparently the Coda is EPA rated for 88 miles. Obviously that will not be typical for a taxi, but the same would apply to a Tesla.
To get 88 miles from a Supercharger with the battery very low would take about 18 minutes. How long is the battery switch going to take?
Also, apparently taxi's in San Francisco drive about 75K miles per year so that's about 205 miles per day, about 78% of a charge which sounds like an hour or so on a Supercharger per day, or perhaps a 30 minute session and another top up of 15 minutes or so.
For an owner/operator they'd just need a reasonably fast level 2 charger available where they park so maybe there wouldn't be any need for Superchargers as part of the scheme, just a subsidy for the owner/drivers to buy the Teslas which are about $40K more than the Codas. I'd think a taxi would burn about $15K worth of gas per year, so maybe it could be structured as a zero interest loan.
The Gen III sounds like it may make this even less defensible, lower cost but still with supercharging.
None of these things pencil out as proof-of-convents (and aren't intended to), but this seems particularly dumb. I know that San Jose and Oakland airport have incentives (mandates?) for CNG cabs-- and virtually all cabs picking up form those airports are CNG. For fleet applications, I think CNG is a more sensible alternative to gasoline than electricity right now.
If you pause to consider the math (how many cab trips per day from SFO, how many round trips to city per charge, time to swap or charge, number of simultaneous swap/charge stations, electric service required to maintain all of this......), you quickly conclude that this will not scale up anytime soon.....
I find it highly disappointing that they plan to customize some CODAs to accomplish this "milestone."
Shouldn't this be at a phase when they are showing off how a production car will stand up to "taxi abuse" and is therefore ready for widespread deployment?
Is Better Place suggesting that they will lease CODAs to people in this USA as part of their plan?
I thought we expected to see Renault/Nissan vehicles from them.
I think they'd better spend their money on 60 kWh model S with super chargers. Even taxi drivers need a short break.
I don't know any details about this but I stumbled across this awhile ago. FEV is the engineering company mentioned in earlier posts.
FEV, Inc. v. CODA Automotive, Inc. :: Justia Dockets Filings
Seems like the Model S would make a better taxi in almost every regard. The Coda has only 14.1 cu/ft of luggage space, vs 31.6 for the Model S. If they used the 85kWh version, they might not even need supercharging.
I think the above is dead now given Better Place shuts down US, Australian operations - Globes .
Wow, no wonder there's so much skepticism toward Tesla. No one else is making it in this biz.